Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Baron's Latest Finds.

Seems at though the fates may be starting to smile upon the Baron.

Today, while perusing the local craigslist listings in the free section I came across something not all that unusual, a curb alert listing a few bike frames set out for either pickup or disposal.

Now usually these only warrant a cursory glance before moving on, but in this case, that glance took several minutes as I read what was there and it slowly sank in, in this listing were:

An old Columbia woman's frame, just that, a frame, no forks, bars, or anything, basically scrap iron.

A Ross Eurosport, nothing special there, some decent components that may be worth salvaging.

A Raleigh LTD-3, ok, now I'm paying attention, Sturmy-Archer three-speed internally geared hub, yeah, it's starting to sink in now.

And, finally, a Motobécane Super Mirage, which, from the description in the ad, was relatively intact.

So, I check the address and find it's only a few miles away, fortified with this information I hopped in the van and headed off.

Upon my arrival I made sure I was at the right address, I'd rather not take the chance of tossing bikes into my van that someone may actually want to keep, cops get twitchy when you do things like that.

I proceed to start loading the items in question into my van and as I'm doing so I start to notice things, like that the Raleigh looks to be in decent shape for a resto job and the Motobécane appeared to be in even better shape, I spent the remainder of my time there trying to contain my enthusiasm while making small talk and trying not to giggle like a mad fiend.

After a few more minutes of conversation I finally head home and start pulling things out of the van to look them over properly...

The Ross isn't much to get excited about, a woman's frame with some components that may go into my old reliable Huffy MTB beater, the Columbia came with a couple rusted wheels, one of which containing a ss hub with coaster brake that I'll probably hold onto for some unfathomable reason, and then the Raleigh, I looked this one over, the frame was still nice and solid, all the parts were there, and just looked to need tires, tubes, and some cables replaced to be usable... but then the rear wheel caught my attention.

I checked to see if the indicator spindle was till there, is it, this is a good first sign, then I looked to the hub proper and saw something that was the unpleasant color of old rust and grime, a thoroughly unpleasant sight.

Reaching in through the spokes I ran a finger across the surface of the hub and saw that what I thought was rust was just old grease and road grime that came right off, and when it did I saw a shining chrome surface with the Sturmy-Archer logo smiling up at me as if it had been waiting for me to find it all this time.

I have to admit I felt a sense of giddiness I haven't felt since christmas morning when I was a child, this was, to me, a most valuable find and I was annoyingly happy about it.

After a few minutes of maniacal chuckling I turned my attention to the Motobécane, and as my investigation progressed I noticed that the bike was intact, all the parts were there and seemed to be functioning as well as anyone could hope, it appeared that the tires just needed a bit of air so I made my way back upstairs faster than I have in quite a long time to get my airpump.

A few minutes with the pump and the tires were holding air, surprising since they appear to be the originals from when the bike was made back in the 70s.

After checking to make sure they were holding I started pedaling about the parking lot once again laughing like a mad scientist from an old Hammer film.

So now, sitting in the kitchen alongside the Mongoose commuter is a half-cleaned Motobécane waiting to go out tomorrow for a ride I think it's been waiting on for quite some time.

The Peugeot will still be restored, I've not forgotten it, the Raleigh I'm still deciding on what to do with it, and the Motobécane is going to be ridden till it needs new tires, than it may have to idle for a bit, but until then I plan on having some fun with it.

Bike porn will follow as soon as I can takes some pics to share.

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